CEV Artist Interview
Wendy and Lisa
White Flags of
White Flags of Winter Chimneys:
Lisa: That was one of the first songs written and has the energy and joy that we felt being able to spend our days freely making music for ourselves. We had been under pressure working for a long period as hired composers, which is a very satisfying career, but when we found ourselves with the time and the studio to make this record we bolted out of the gate like race horses.
Wendy: We wanted to write a song about courting the forbidden that felt irreverent, something strong . something un-apologetic. This was what we came up with. Its about wanting to be with someone who is off limits really.
CEV: How much of you personally shows up in the songs that you write? How much is drawn from society and the world that surrounds you? Is it difficult to write the songs that put you on display for the world to see everytime the song is played?
Lisa: Having control of your career makes honesty a lot easier to live with. The direct connection that the internet provides helps me to feel like I can put out more personal material. I don't have to think about fashion or trendy statements that marketing people might need to sell the product. I am very personally attached to my work and I have a hard time writing songs that aren't personal.
Wendy: Everything I write about is influenced by my surroundings and my experience of life. Begining Middle and End. I'm always vulnerable to what the world thinks about my stuff but that's the nature of the beast isnt it?
CEV: Tell me about how the songwriting works between the two of you. Are all of the songs on your new CD collaborative efforts or do each of you contribute individual songs as well?
Lisa: Just about everything is a collaboration. Even if one of us has written the majority of a song, the other is always there to help fine tune the arrangement, lyrics, or add sections...etc.
Wendy: Everything on this CD is a collaborative effort and written all at once. (except Niagra Falls.)
CEV: If there is a theme running through White Flags of Winter Chimneys how would you describe it? Do you consciously create songs within a theme for an album project or do they just sort of "appear" as the work progresses?
Lisa: The theme would be of surrender and survival. We were seeking shelter from the storm, making a fire in the snow. We did not intentionally write with this in mind, we just got near the end and looked at it , and noticed what was being echoed in all the songs...... white flags of winter chimneys.
CEV: I am curious about the new album title White Flags of Winter Chimneys. Sort of unusual, could you tell me about it and how it relates to the music as a whole?
Lisa: It is a reference to a Joni Mitchell lyric. A song in which she explores her life and loves...... fairly typical subject matter, until Joni gets her hands on it. She is such a great poet. The line popped out at us towards the end of our writing process and....... it stuck. Go google it and see for yourself!
CEV: Do the two of you still go out on the road in support of your music? How has that changed with the economy being what it is these days?
Lisa: We are HOPING to tour, but at the moment have no means to do so. We are doing this whole thing out of pocket so until we find the comparable version of digital downloads in the form of a tour, we are just.....ummm............ yeah...... the economy? WHAT economy? We need some economy.
Wendy: We want to play live in the summer of 2009.
CEV: Do you enjoy being onstage? What kind of rush do you get from performing live and will there be a time that you won't feel that anymore?
Lisa: YES! I enjoy it very much, but I always seem to forget that and I get terribly nervous and wonder "why do I put myself through this?", until I'm up there in it, and having a good time.... I come off the stage afterward thinking, "I should do that more often!" I think it will always feel the same. It always has.
CEV: Having come up through the 80's and having been a part of Prince's band for quite a number of years you are very familiar with the power of videos in relation to promoting your music. With the current environment do you still feel the same about the power of a video or has the internet changed that?
Lisa: What are videos? You mean YOUTUBE? oh yeah...... thats cool.
Wendy: NO i dont! If you cant do it and get it seen, then forget it. Its too much money.
CEV: How do the two of you feel about being only an e-mail away from your fan base? How is it that the both of you use the internet personally and promoting your music via sites like MySpace and Facebook?
Wendy: I love being able to chat with everyone.
CEV: How does it feel being an "indie" artist these days? How much difference is there between going it alone and having a label to depend on? Which do like more?
Lisa: I don't understand record labels. I never did. I am glad they died. Did I say that out loud? No really.... I like this indie way. It is made for me.
Wendy: I really love it. I can live with all of my choices so much better than when we were signed to a major.
CEV: How much are you involved in the production aspects of your projects? Do you enjoy the mastering and mixing process?
Lisa: We are involved every step of the way and love every little detail. We are a little geeky when it comes to gear and technology.
Wendy: We are involved in every aspect of our work from mixing and mastering and stuffing envelopes to booking to talking to choosing and loosing.. It's on us!!
CEV: Of all the music that you have written and performed are there a couple of songs that you are most proud of or that ring true again and again with your fans? Why is that?
Lisa: "The Life'' is one song that always feels true when we play it. There are several others, but that one came to mind because it is so simple and we can play it any time anywhere on piano and/or guitar and people always listen closely. It is one that always seems to bring the crowd into one place. WHY? I really don't know. Maybe the quietness and beauty of the music coupled with the ironic celebratory phrase, "this is the life", and the inclusion of all of us fighting a similar battle against time and doing the best we can.
Wendy: The new CD is it for me right now.. its all i can think about.
CEV: How long have you been playing and what was your first instrument?
Lisa: Always played the piano, but played flute and cello in first grade, and then drums and guitar. And hurdy gurdy and box spring mattresses in high school.
Wendy: Since I was six. Guitar.
CEV: What's the greatest thing that's ever been said about your music?
Lisa: Hmmm........... one person said they got married to one of our songs, and another said they wanted one of our songs played at their funeral. That is pretty mind blowing out of the body other wordly not worthy kind of stuff right there.
Wendy: It was something SUSAN RODGERS said.
CEV: When you get bad reviews, do you let them get to you?
Lisa: Yes. I am crushed.
Wendy: Depends on who wrote it.
CEV: What's the most indulgent thing you've ever done?
Lisa: Snorted gold dust off of a naked white tiger that was feasting on raw mahi mahi , Oh wait that wasn't me... those were my guests at the party I had in Dubai in the miniature city of Lisa for the anniversary of the discovery that I am indeed wonderful and deserving of a city named after me. Oh and the topless chocolate cream cheese graham cracker crusted butter whipped sugar roasted diamond flak seven layer cocaine champagne baked alaskan palm frond hammock limousine masseur flambe swiss bank account pedicure cat walker back scratcher cake orgy was notable.
Wendy. Can't tell you that.
CEV: Thanks so much for sharing some of your thoughts on your music. Glad to see that the two of you are still making great music all these years later. Take care and good luck on whatever you decide to do in the future. Return Home